Despite strong performances from its top two starting pitchers, the Georgetown baseball team (19-22, 4-5 Big East) lost two out of three games in a series against Butler (12-28, 3-6 Big East) over the weekend.
Junior pitcher Simon Mathews was dominant in his start on Saturday to earn Georgetown’s lone victory over the weekend. Mathews pitched his second consecutive complete game. He allowed only one run, which was unearned, and won the Big East Pitcher of the Week Award for his performance.
“He’s commanding all three of his pitches, even four of his pitches, competing his butt off,” Head Coach Pete Wilk said. “He’s got a chance at [Big East] Pitcher of the Year, I would think. He’s doing a great job.”
In Friday’s game, Georgetown also received a strong performance from its starting pitcher, as senior Matt Smith pitched seven innings and allowed two runs, one of which was unearned. Smith struck out five batters and walked two. However, Smith’s performance was not enough to earn the win, as the Hoyas fell 3-2 in a tight 13-inning affair.
Wilk attributed the team’s loss to reckless swings.
“I don’t think we swung the bats well against – to me – what was pretty average pitching,” Wilk said. “I was disappointed with the way, especially in the first two games, that we swung the bats. But you know, that’s part of the season; those are going to go up and down.”
Georgetown built an early 2-0 lead on two RBI singles by junior first baseman Joseph Bialkowski and junior designated hitter Jake Kuzbel. Butler got the two runs back in the bottom of the fourth when senior catcher Chris Marras hit a home run and sophomore left fielder Gehrig Parker scored on an error.
The next eight innings passed without any scoring on either side until Marras hit an RBI single to end the game in the bottom of the 13th inning. Junior reliever Danny Pobereyko pitched 6 and 1/3 innings and allowed just one hit, no walks and no runs to earn the win for Butler.
The Hoyas evened the series on Saturday, winning 3-1 behind Mathews’ performance on the mound. Mathews struck out six hitters and did not walk any in his nine innings of work. He threw just 112 pitches in the complete game and has consistently pitched efficiently this season, which has allowed him to pitch deep into games.
“He throws a lot of strikes, and he gets ahead of all the hitters,” freshman third baseman Ryan Weisenberg said. “He has really good stuff, but I think it’s the command is what’s able to keep his pitch count low and get him through at least seven innings almost every outing.”
Georgetown’s defense behind Mathews was shaky, committing five errors in the field. Mathews was able to limit the damage, but Wilk was not pleased with his team’s defensive focus.
“Some of them were extremely basic, and our focus doesn’t seem to be there,” Wilk said. “I mean, throwing the ball 65 feet, throwing the ball 85 feet, we’ve got to be able to make those plays. Catching a routine pop up, those little ridiculous plays that aren’t made add up.”
In Sunday’s game, the Georgetown offense produced its highest run total of the series, but its pitchers struggled in a 12-6 loss. Freshman pitcher Jack Cushing replaced sophomore pitcher Kevin Superko, who has been the team’s Sunday starter for most of this season, to make the start on the mound. However, Cushing struggled, allowing four runs in two innings, before being replaced by Superko, who allowed four more runs in three innings.
Weisenberg had three hits, including a solo home run, to lead the Georgetown offense.
“I’m just starting to treat all my at-bats kind of the same way and try to stay consistent over the course of a game, no highs and lows,” Weisenberg said. “I’m just trying to approach every at-bat the same way, and I think that’s what I did well this weekend.”
Sophomore right fielder Michael DeRenzi added two hits, including a home run.
Georgetown now turns its attention to a doubleheader this afternoon against Maryland Eastern Shore (12-26, 5-12 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference). The doubleheader includes a makeup game for a contest that was postponed April 13, and as a result, the Hoyas will play their first mid-week doubleheader of the season.
Georgetown won all three of its games against UMES last year, but the team is primarily focused on its own performance.
“You just have to keep the ball out of the middle of the plate. They’ve got a couple of guys that can hurt you; they run a little bit,” Wilk said of UMES. “If we play our game, I don’t really worry about it too much. We just need to continue to show up and compete.”